Escape Of Today, Autumn Of Tomorrow

If you follow me on Twitter, you’d know how much I love sitting by the large windows of my living room. It should be no surprise then if I say, I am sitting by one of those lovely windows right now as I type this. I am also cozily tucked into a throw and intermittently staring at the marvellous sight that is the balcony of a couple living in the opposite apartment block. Beautifully and just adequately lit by their lamp in the corner and some candles on the table, I can imagine what it must be like to sit in the cool breeze, crisp air and sip some red wine & nibble on chocolates. The gorgeous flowery plants all around the parapet hide the view but it’s a good guess they are having red wine. I’d if I was sitting there and chocolates would be a definite yes! Hubby nods in agreement, but also nudges me to not stare so hard.

Containing myself, I get back to my screen. It is almost 7:15pm, sun has set and the skies are slowly losing their beautiful hues of dusk to blackness. Getting used to the sunsets in London can be a challenge for someone who has lived all her life in a tropical land. We rise and fall (into bed!) with the sun over there, and it feels cumbersome to do it any other way! That is the reason I best like this time of the year here. The days haven’t yet become short and dark, and everything outside is pretty great too. I mean, what’s not to like about autumn. From the way it’s spelled to nostalgia attached with Enid Blyton story books; from scents and softness of the season to its distinct foliage.

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Need I say more?

This is also the time when I begin to click the big tree at my office square everyday, capturing the changing leaf colours and density, in the hope that I will make a stopgap video out of those frames! I know I will go replenish my stock of scented candles soon and buy fresh produce of the juicy berries and apples so my fruit basket can mirror the season colours! And that reminds me, autumn is also the time to cover up again, to bring out the boots, soft cardigans and coats that I had so happily stowed away. I will, of course, refrain myself from getting a new wardrobe but the shops are already lined with such sumptuous textures that it is going to be difficult to stop! I quickly glance at hubby who looks immersed in a book, so I don’t bother telling him of my temptations now. Around the house, all the rugs and cashmere blankets will be shown some sun before it becomes a scarce commodity, along with doling out some soups, leafy healthy preparations out of this new recipe book that hubby gifted me and find more & more excuses to stay indoors to catch up on movies we missed during the busy outdoors-y summer.

I suddenly look out the window again and I don’t see any shadows in that balcony. Just find a faintly flickering candle all by itself on the table. The road below has also quietened now. Well, Sunday has almost come to an end, and it so appears that my fond remembrance and wishful planning for the season have taken me away in thoughts too. But then, it is something to look forward to, isn’t it? Reality surrounds us, and Sundays have become mere reminders of Mondays more than anything else these days. But what is a Sunday devoid of wishfulness, of yearning, of tiny escapes of the mind? It is in these tiny escapes that I tighten my grip on reality and live it, shape it fully.

I now have a reason more to love the autumns!

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Photo of the tree at the office square from last year!

PHOTO: #ThrowbackThursday To Henley On Thames

This week’s #throwbackthursday post is all about taking everything as it comes. Fretting over how something did not pan out as you planned is only a futile attempt at how you can recover from the situation, and make the best of what you have.

A question on tonight’s #TravelIST chat about Travel Mishaps was what led me to this post. “Ever been in a Travel Mishap with a happy ending?”. Henley on Thames is one of the few that I could put into this category!

My friend and I missed a train out of London for Brighton. We had an entire day planned for Brighton, only for it to be completely ruined, thanks to some confusion! We did fret over it but soon enough we decided to hop on the next train – to wherever it may lead in an hour’s time heading outwards of London. And Henley on Thames was it!

It was a small sleepy town, with sprawling bungalows and lush lawns, and the residents enjoying themselves on a siesta for sure. But boy! it was beautiful! The boat ride on the River Thames gave me plenty to capture. And unable to pick one among those, I thought I will make a collage of all that was picturesque of this small but wonderful town!

How we spent our time there? Well, we took on the mood of the town pretty quickly. We walked through the silent streets, ate a long lunch at a local cafe, sampling some of their local tea and biscuits. We then took the boat ride, stood on the Henley Bridge & enjoyed the view. As they say, when in Rome, do as the Romans do.

And we could not have been happier about missing that train to Brighton – we later heard it rained there that day! Ha! Like I said in the beginning, most often its best to take things as they come!

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What I Miss Most About Home

My husband and I spent all of December 2014 in India. On vacation! Travelling home is always special, for three reasons that I can think of: time with family & loved ones, delectable home food and the sunshine! Of course, the sound of the night watchman’s stick banging on the road every night in the same rhythm comes a close fourth!

I don’t know where the time flew! We spent a cumulative of 37 days among 7 cities, and meeting with a lot of family and friends. Planning such visits while trying to include as many as possible into our list is always a challenge. And this December visit was no less, but what’s fun if it’s not hard to do!

Now back in London, I often catch myself reminiscing the month that went by, so fast!

As I pack my lunch for work, I think of all the food doled out of grandma’s kitchen. You will not believe how many unique dishes I got to eat in the 15 days I stayed at grandma’s – 58! Doing the math, that’s 2 new dishes for every meal of the day! Grandpa had prepared a comprehensive menu, handwritten I must add, with all the days listed and everyone’s favourites, preferences and travel schedules incorporated into that one A4 sized sheet! It was adorable. Being the new block on the kid (oh! I don’t think I mentioned it before, I was the new kid around them as they are my husband’s grandparents and I was visiting them only the 3rd time since I got married!), I would sit with them in the evening, sipping on tea or tomato soup even and discuss to ‘fine-tune’ the menu in order to confirm next day’s plan for the kitchen. It was one of the most hilarious conversations, and exceedingly cute too!

There were, at one point, 18-19 people in the house, visiting! Including us, of course. And that inevitably meant post-dinner card-games! Given how cold it gets inside the homes at night during (Indian) winters, all of us would gather around the big divan in the lounge room, a big razai in the middle into which we tuck in our legs and sit covered in shawls. And, we played round after round of some gazillion types of card games! I didn’t even know there existed as many! Have you heard of games like 29, Bonus, Sh!thead, 3-2-5? And of course, there were ‘accusations’ of someone cheating, or tiffs on how the cards weren’t dealt correctly whenever someone lost – and that would lead to another ‘fair trial’ and suddenly it is past midnight and the house-play is only getting started!

Late nights, early mornings, heavy lunches and long dinners! Of course, I wouldn’t know where the time went. And it was not always about food. Soaking in the warm sun in the garden, a siesta by the window post lunch, an evening stroll in the by lanes just before tea – all such moments spent with love and in complete bliss!

If you are with me until here, then I haven’t bored you out. That said, the above is gist of just half my time in India. I keep the other half for another time, both the stories and the take-away from them.

Meanwhile, standing in my kitchen in London as I pack my lunch to work, these are the scenes that flash by, filling me up with not only gratitude, but also a resolve to keep my ties stronger to withstand any distance (any time zone)! There is also one other thing I realized, about what I missed the most about being at home – the Indian kitchens! The gas stoves, the utensils, the spice masala boxes and all the mess that comes with having so much happening all at once in one place!

Which is why, I am sharing some of the photographs of the lovely grandma’s lovely kitchen:

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PHOTO: #ThrowbackThursday to Hampi

From Rome last week, we travel to another land standing tall in its ruins, in India for this week’s #ThrowbackThursday photo. The place holds a special place in my heart for its gorgeous views & monuments and of course, the million memories that I packed into my time there. This post is dedicated to these amazing set of friends I have, how much I adore their presence in my life and just how much I miss them here!

Hampi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, listed as a Group of Monuments. You may read more about it here.

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NEW: PHOTO Series on #ThrowbackThursday

I am delighted to announce I am starting a new section on my blog from today! I am going to publish a series of photographs, one every Thursday, on the #ThrowbackThursday theme, to share and look back fondly on some of my favorite memories. I decided to add this photo series to my blog for two simple reasons. One, to be able store all those fleeting moments of nostalgia in one place together; second, to connect with my readers via an alternate medium and what best than a picture every week!

I hope you enjoy what I have to share. Never miss a photo by following me on Instagram!

Here is today’s PHOTO: #throwbackthursday to the fascinating Colosseum in Rome! In ruins now yet standing tall.

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